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Thread: Service Dog Quesion

  1. #61
    KLD is 100% correct. There is no official certification. You might find websites and/or companies that will allow you to make a card etc. But, there is nothing that has to come from the federal government. Adding to that the person may not inquire about your disability either. Only what service the service dog provides for the individual. I have found as my Gordon Setter is a service dog and is very large. He is about 120 pounds- that it is best to just always have a vest on him when in public with the appropriate patches. You can easily obtain this from online vendors. **Note you don't even has to do this according to federal law** It just makes it easier in my experience. I get this question across my desk almost weekly from individuals, apartment managers, condo associations, local businesses, etc. Sadly, there are people who "pose" their "pet" to be a service dog and that makes things more difficult for the rest of us. Also, just as you would expect the general public, if he has a vest, collar, leash, or other marking that says he is working then make sure you follow the same rules of petting, playing, etc. I will admit sometimes I am even guilty of forgetting to take his vest off at say "dog beach" before we start playing after lunch or something. Then people have a big "hmmmmm" So just use good general common sense. And follow the rules on www.ada.gov (great PDF's you can print and carry in the vest that quickly explain to people how things work. I have attached it here.
    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by russianrob View Post
    KLD is 100% correct. There is no official certification. You might find websites and/or companies that will allow you to make a card etc. But, there is nothing that has to come from the federal government. Adding to that the person may not inquire about your disability either. Only what service the service dog provides for the individual. I have found as my Gordon Setter is a service dog and is very large. He is about 120 pounds- that it is best to just always have a vest on him when in public with the appropriate patches. You can easily obtain this from online vendors. **Note you don't even has to do this according to federal law** It just makes it easier in my experience. I get this question across my desk almost weekly from individuals, apartment managers, condo associations, local businesses, etc. Sadly, there are people who "pose" their "pet" to be a service dog and that makes things more difficult for the rest of us. Also, just as you would expect the general public, if he has a vest, collar, leash, or other marking that says he is working then make sure you follow the same rules of petting, playing, etc. I will admit sometimes I am even guilty of forgetting to take his vest off at say "dog beach" before we start playing after lunch or something. Then people have a big "hmmmmm" So just use good general common sense. And follow the rules on www.ada.gov (great PDF's you can print and carry in the vest that quickly explain to people how things work. I have attached it here.

    Thanks for that link.
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  3. #63
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Actually federal law does not always Trump state laws, there are instances but im posting from my phone again so ill have to come back again to make some more formal statements with resources for you guys. The federal law always trumps state thing is one of the intricacies that's discussed frequently when it comes to service dog law.

    When it comes to rights, state law cannot take away any rights federal law has given. For example the right of a person with a disability PWD to have a service dog is protected by federal law. Federal law does not require any formal registration or certification to use a service dog in public. Note, public, private buildings, government buildings, and housing are not public access and addressed separately. Federal law does not require any vest, patch, harness etc to use a service dog in public. Now, states can have service dog law separate from federal law. For example federal law ONLY addresses service dogs but many states have laws that address service dogs in training. This is an example of state law giving more rights than federal law. A state law could also give an additional access to service dogs but require a vest, certification, etc. You cannot claim the extra rights of the state law and claim federal law as a reason to not wear a vest while using the extra rights.

    Service dog in training, sdit, laws being state specific, anyone with a sdit should be familiar regardless of if they are owner training or receiving assistance from an organization. Some states give no public access to sdits, some give access but under requirements such as when accompanied by a service dog trainer. Furthermore some laws define service dog trainer while others do not. Places that sell food such as grocery stores and restaurants must follow health codes which prevent non service dogs, but other places of business may allow non service dogs at their own discretion. So if in doubt with a sdit call and ask in advance.

    But no business may ignore the federal definition of service dog and pick and choose what types of sd is allowed. It's common place however for businesses to be confused about this. The first step would be to request a manager. If providing the business brief and talking to the manager is not working the next step would be to call the department of justice helpline which handles ADA law and can help dispute issues. You can also contact police to mitigate the dispute however it's a toss up if they will be of assistance, and it's possible to end up with an officer unfamiliar with the law who sides with the business despite being shown otherwise. Would you feel comfortable contacting the media once these avenues have been exhausted? That can frequently help, though not everyone is comfortable going that route. You can request your name not be used in the story.

    Lin
    ADAP Board member and service dog handler
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  4. #64
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voxina View Post
    with the exception of then transport laws allowing transport to ask for a doctor's letter in the case of psychiatric assistance dogs...although considering how wide-spread the impact of the ADA is, and the discrepancies in coding are ridiculous, and I believe the ADA principles of public access rights for service dog users/handlers should be expanded to cover ALL aspects of public places and public services within the US. Discrepancies in laws like this are the stuff of public access nightmares.
    I wanted to point out a discrepancy in your post, but not everything I saw here is directed at your post but moving from that starting point.

    Psychiatric service dogs are service dogs that fall under the same regulations as all other service dogs. However, there is a separate type of 'working' dog for those with psychiatric disabilities called the emotional support dog.

    Psychiatric service dogs, PSDs are required to meet the same training in as other service dogs and be specifically trained to perform tasks that mitigate their handlers disability. Emotional support animals, ESAs, however are pets and are not required to meet any requirements outside of pet care. To acquire a PSA you must meet the legal definition of disability http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/902cm.html but to acquire an ESA you only need to be considered medically disabled and have the appropriate medical professional put in your permanent record that you are disabled and your ESA be a part of your ongoing medical treatment for that disability.

    Service dog access laws are covered in different places including the ADA, housing under the Fair Housing Amendments Act, government buildings in section 504 of the Rehab Act, and air travel under Air Carrier Access Act.

    ESAs as pets do not have public access the way service dogs do. In the eyes of the law SDs are treated as medical equipment and the access is on the part of the PWD to be accompanied by the animal and not the animal alone. ESAs are allowed to accompany the individual on airplanes, and in no pet housing when a letter is given from the medical professional in charge of psychiatric treatment. This is where I think the confusion between PSD and ESA by voxina.

    Lin
    Board member of ADAP and service dog handler
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  5. #65
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherocksandsherolls View Post
    Thanks for that link.
    The link provided by Rob is unfortunately somewhat out of date due to the ADA reformation act of 2008 which addressed the definition of service dog among other things. This law was implemented in March 2011. Here is the current brief again
    http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

    A quick source to find any service dog law including state and federal as well as case law for many countries is service dog central www.servicedogcentral.org
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  6. #66
    So far I pretend I have no dog and always mail my rent on time. Met my landlady's daughter, who happens to date my neighbor. I said "Uh, could you maybe keep my dog on the downlow?"

    Neighborman looked at me in total disbelief.

    "Too late."

    Damn small towns.

    Dingo's a dealbreaker, and she just wants to be paid. I guess we can coexist...until I'm caught red-handed.

  7. #67
    Beth, if dingos well behaved, doesnt jump on people, make him a service dog. Obviously you couldnt be without him. I dont see the harm.

    Re the above, in Indianapolis I had a waitress at a restaraunt downtown tell me and a friend the fire marshall didnt allow service dogs in training. Not sure why she though a fire marshall had anything to do with it. I encountered a bit of weird things in Indiana though.

    I never realized each state could have its own rules on this. No wonder the ADA is worthless. They must just adopt whatever rule they want about ramps too.
    If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.


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  8. #68
    Oops nevermind
    If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.


    Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.

  9. #69
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Not the best thing to do but I've been there and done the same before. I'm ok with it when it's people that aren't going to dump the animal, and I know you'd never do that. If I had gotten caught I'd have moved. What I did before was my landlord only knowing about the dogs and not the cats, or one cat when I had 2, or not knowing I fostered. I only have a problem with the morons who get pets when they know they aren't allowed and then dump them once caught. Wooops, sorry, landlord says I can't have pets so fluffy has to go. Now.

    I've run into people who lied about dogs being service dogs to keep them in housing, and that's serious stuff since it damages those with real service dogs! For example I was managing a boarding house when this couple claimed both their dogs were service dogs. I knew they were lying real fast because nothing they said made sense and they couldn't answer my questions. The landlord let them move in anyway, and they were shocked to meet me and find out I had a service dog. They came clean and admitted purchasing certificates online to use when landlords didn't allow Pitt bulls. I hope I scared them straight letting them know what could happen if someone decided to sue, because they didn't care about anyone other than themselves. When they moved out the place was a disaster and their dogs were not housebroken and the wood floors were saturated with urine. I don't know how they lived like that. I dumped about 5 gallons of vinegar on the floors of the 2 rooms they were renting. Just think about the wake of landlords they've left now hating service dogs! This is an extreme example, but non service dogs just can't meet up to the expectations of service dogs so small damages with an animal hater can cause issues. I also hate when people acquire a service dog without telling their landlord, or move in with one never saying anything. Even legitimate handlers have to follow the proper channels. You can't just get a SD and say ok you can't kick us out its a SD.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  10. #70
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    The ADA is about civil rights, and no state can take away civil rights that are granted federally. It's just that the statement federal law always trumps state law isn't true.

    There is a loophole so to speak in that all accommodation boils down to reasonable accommodation. This is why 2 SDs would usually be considered unreasonable. Modifying a historical building could be deemed unreasonable. Putting a ramp in front of a building flush with the Street could be deemed unreasonable, etc.

    The fire Marshall wouldn't have anything to do with it, but the business may have been using that as an excuse. In Indiana The law states that service dogs in training have t he same public access as service dogs when accompanied by a service dog trainer. However service dog trainer is not defined, and so would be up to the discretion of the judge. This could mean trainers from organizations, it could include owner trainers. When I was training I called places in advance and simply asked a manager if they allowed service dogs in training. I was never refused access, and when I showed up I had Tessa wearing patches identifying her as a service dog in training. Ironically once she was fully trained I started running into instances where people tried to deny us access, but so far none yet that wasn't taken care of by talking with the employee or a manager.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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